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Panasonic DV / MX / GS series Assistant
...and other Panasonic DV camcorders.


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Old January 14th, 2004, 07:06 AM   #16
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Yuppers. Dial-up. I prefer moonshine myself. :-((
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Old January 14th, 2004, 10:33 AM   #17
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Plenty of tests and grabs here but no Xi

http://www4.big.or.jp/~a_haru/

The camera with minimum halo effect is Sony VX2000, but of course no info about sharpen settings.
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Old January 14th, 2004, 11:24 AM   #18
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Ayosha,
Most of the folks in this forum are familiar with that website of frame grabs. I refer folks to it when I see the "Compare DV953 to TRV950/GL2/(Insert your camcorder here)" type of posts. Someone commented that the site favored Sony cameras, the implication being that the shots were taken in a way to make the Sony look better than the others. I don't know that that is true, but, without any information on the standards for the tests, we can't make anything but a subjective comparison between the cameras.

What we really need in the video community is a website like the one Phil Askey has for digital still cameras...dpreview.com...that provides technically sound and consistent testing results. I mean, it's great to read and contribute to the subjective opinions, critical and positive posts on this and other boards. But, after the smoke clears, it is still one person's opinion versus another's.
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Old January 14th, 2004, 04:09 PM   #19
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I agree that is a great site for still cameras, I bought my Nikon after going through his (and some other lesser) sites more than once.

When I decided to go video that was the first site I visited, I was hoping to find a DV section there....

As for objectivity of that jap site, I failed to notice any bias at all. The only objection I have is the lack of data on how the cameras were set for the tests. Then again, if there were any texts there babelfish would probably scramble them into a proper jigsaw puzzle.

I cast my line over to DV board, there was a bit of a nibble but no bites so far :-)
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Old January 14th, 2004, 04:57 PM   #20
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Ok, if someone expresses interest but has no place to post, they can send the pix to me or register at my site and upload the pix into the Gallery.

BTW, for those folks who are reading the thread but are unfamiliar with the DV953 manual adjustments, one can set the sharpness and color levels (as well as shutter speed, aperature, gain and audio) on this camera when the camera is set into Manual mode. I believe the sharpness and color settings are retained in Auto, and my eyes indicate that, but I can't find anything in the camera data to confirm that.
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Old January 14th, 2004, 05:33 PM   #21
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That is very kind of you, Guy.

Alternative is at geocities.com, free but can be slow.

Just realised MX500B could be a version with Bluetooth (1064 at amazon.co.uk).

Next year Sony will shoehorn an mp3 player with 20Gb disk into TRV80M
and everybody would have to follow suit. And the touch screen will recognise your handwriting.

Frank, you could start another thread like what useless gadget everybody wants his/her cam to have :-)

It is getting late and I always talk nonsense at this time of the day.

Loging off
Love you all
a
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Old January 14th, 2004, 06:40 PM   #22
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Ayosha, I agree that many of the grabs from the Panasonic 953 as well as my Panasonic 852 have a lot of sharpening artifacts. But the Sony VX2000 has almost none. I got my samples from that site you suggested.

I put the Panasonic 953 beside the Sony 2000 and the difference is incredible. The Sony 2000 pictures are like a normal beautiful clear picture, like I would get from my Nikon 5400 digital still camera. The Panasonic 953 picture is sharpened to the point of being rediculus.

My Panasonic 852 doesn't have any sharpening adjustment. I thought seeing as the Panasonic 953 has sharpening adjustment this could be corrected. But based on some comments in this thread, not much. I took the Sony 2000 picture and did some extreeme sharpening on it in PhotoPaint, low and behold it turned into the same kind of low quality picture as from the Panasonic 953. Has Panasonic just gone sharpening mad?

Or am I missing something here.
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Old January 14th, 2004, 07:37 PM   #23
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<<<-- Originally posted by Ben Wiens : Has Panasonic just gone sharpening mad?

Or am I missing something here. -->>>

Obviously.

See everyone, this is why I don't like having only test shots from one camera. There is no perspective because people take snippets from here and there where there is no quality control information and try to draw conclusions...with an agenda. The DV953 has excellent video...equivalent to the GL2 and VX2000 and other cameras of that ilk when viewed typically on a display designed for the video format. When you blow up portions of a frame, you WILL find something. Every one of these cameras is a compromise and they all have faults. It's like a diamond. It is bright, sparkles and draws ooohs and aaahs on the finger, but put it under a 100x microscope and point out the flaws and no woman will buy it.
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Old January 14th, 2004, 09:44 PM   #24
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I can say this; the GS100 (and the MX5000/DV953) is the best consumer camcorder, period. :)

P.S. I saw indoor footage of the TRV80 (1/3.6" CCD) on a big projector screen and its low light performance was no good either, so I'm very glad I chose the MX5000 instead and save a lot of money. :)
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Old January 15th, 2004, 12:20 AM   #25
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Guy and Ayosha, you pay more for the VX2000, I'm sure you can expect more from it. The MX500/DV953 is not God's gift to man, you know.

Guy, here in Singapore, the digital photographic community is of general concensus that, although Phil Askey does his test scientifically, his conclusion is ineveitably biased towards Canon, but Phil is of course entitled to his opinion. At least, you can judge the test results from the website.

Ben, the 852 is a consumer cam, and auto is the prefered setting, hence no sharpening control. I have not seen the NTSC shot on TV, but here in PAL-land, the MX8/300/350/500 is certainly not up to the VX2000 in video quality. But the price difference is huge! In this matter, I concur with Guy, that when viewed on a typical home TV (30" 4:3), the Panasonic does perform fantastically. If a person wants to watch on a wall-sized screen, maybe a house-priced camera should be used. The MX/DV/GS series are certainly budget cameras.

Young Lee, you are certainly entitled to your opinion. BTW Sony is also not very good with the consumer range of cameras, certainly pricey and not delivering. I have shot (Singapore) $3500 Sony consumer cams against $1500 Panasonic or Canon cams and fine the Sony a loser (lots of grain, lack of wide angle, flaring). I am sticking to Panasonic and Canon, unless it is high end stuff from Sony.
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Old January 15th, 2004, 03:38 AM   #26
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If you look carefully at outdoor grabs from www4.big.or.jp site you will find the same horizontal halo effect on VX2000 samples as well but not as bad. VX2000 is proven to be pro's workhorse for field work, I have heard that most of last Iraq war footage was done with that camera.

AS for domestic use, it is probably too big, heavy, not as ergonomic and you can get two MX500 for one VX2000 (and no Bluetooth:-).

I am inclined to believe that horizontal halo effect is not caused by sharpening only worsened. It looks like it cannot be eliminated by setting sharpen to 0%.

Other 1 chippers (Sony TRV33, PC300 like here
http://www4.big.or.jp/~a_haru/SO/PC300/No9/park3.jpg)
have that effect to a much lesser degree but suffer from other artefacts.

Canon XV2 doesn't have horizontal halo effect but suffers from a vertical one here
http://www24.big.or.jp/~a_natsu/CA/XV2/memory/Gout4.jpg

Canon XL1s have strong horizontal halo here
http://www24.big.or.jp/~a_natsu/CA/X...10/out-AWB.jpg

Pana DVX100 shows very little halo here
http://www8.big.or.jp/~a_fuyu/PA/DVX100/No8/tple.jpg
and quite a lot here
http://www8.big.or.jp/~a_fuyu/PA/DVX100/No8/lake.jpg

There is no perfection, all cameras compromise, and some excel in one environment and are lousy in other.

Also not knowing the conditions and settings for those tests doesn't help.

That is why personal opinions about actual footage viewed on actual TV are just as important.

For the money, ergonomics, manual options, and quality as seen on TV, MX500 (with or without B :-) is still seen as a winner. But it is far from perfection.

And I am still to see and handle one in vivo.
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Old January 15th, 2004, 04:57 AM   #27
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Quote:
VX2000 is proven to be pro's workhorse for field work, I have heard that most of last Iraq war footage was done with that camera.
I agree---and they just made it better, except with the viewfinder and possibly an audio problem when the LCD is flipped open. However, the MX5, or PV-DV953 costs about $1200 US, or thereabouts, and the VX2000 costs about $2200 US (or thereabouts). I have never noticed this halo effect with the NTSC PV-DV953. Funny. And for me at least, I would rather have a small, easy to carry around cam than one that's not. But, if I needed a larger cam, I'd go with older DV500---it's actually not that large if you've got it fastened to a nice tripod. :-))
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Old January 15th, 2004, 05:00 AM   #28
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Hi Ayosha,

sorry but what is the main purpose of you getting a cam? Is it going to be your first one? are you going to use it professionally? here we go again with that word...I wonder what happpened to Fred.

Tell you what, I see halos (in stores) bec I look for it (as in staring at the monitors soo intently). in the house, no, I just watch and rewind and in fact wonder at the clarity. but Im no professional of course. personally, I also prefer to soften the MX5K and GS100 1-2 notches from the default setting depending on what I'm shooting.

Just for your info, I remember having to soften the sharpness level of a TRV70 all the way down to please myself. but for the PC300, it's soft enough at the default setting. some Jap reviewers (published) share the same opinion. you might like to check that Sony model since you seem to be so particular about oversharpening. sharpness adjustment is likewise available in those Sonys.
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Old January 15th, 2004, 05:24 AM   #29
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I believe Fred got removed for his over use of the words, "professional," and "professional cams are black." I would guess he really wanted the Black Mamba instead of the silver PV-DV953. (It wasn't my doing. I rather liked ol' Fred.) :-))
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Old January 15th, 2004, 06:40 AM   #30
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I think all of you have the right of it. If you fixate on one aspect of video and make it the central point of comparison among cameras, you lose the big picture (not a pun). It's sorta like my wife and I watching our new HDTV. I am not a routine TV viewer and prefer to spend my time in front of the tube on quality productions (DVD or HD). Now, if I comment on the PQ of a really well shot HD production that the big screen reproduces well, she is not impressed. To her, it's just TV, big deal (not)! She was just as satisfied with our old 4:3 standard def big screen with all its 240 lines of resolution.

However, I like all of you, are technology enthusiasts. I pore over the technical details and appreciate how close I can come to shooting video or creating audio that approaches professional level. I would love to own the top of the line. But, am satisfied that I have, in the DV953, one of the best if not the best, small 3 CCD camcorder on the market...sharpening and all.

BTW, just a caveat on drawing quality conclusions from pix posted on the web. Most are in .JPG format which is a lossy compression format. It introduces artifacts that are not present in the original that may lead an observer to conclude the original quality was degraded. There are also multiple compression options for JPG. Who knows what was used on these pix, and I suspect different posters used different compression levels. The reference pix that I posted are PNG, so they are compressed at quality level 9 (Best).
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